No decision made on resource officers at Caroline schools

No decision made on resource officers at Caroline schools
FILE PHOTO: Caroline County Sheriff's Office car

CAROLINE, VA (WWBT) - Caroline County's sheriff and parents will have to wait a couple more weeks before finding out if the county will pay for four additional school resource officers.

Sheriff Tony Lippa made that request two weeks ago and just Monday, his department had to step up their presence at Caroline schools following a disturbing, racist video posted on social media.

That video caused many parents to keep their children home.

The sheriff continues his push for more funding, and so is the superintendent of schools, when it comes to salary pay raises.

Parents spoke out Tuesday, saying student safety shouldn't come with a price tag.

"I know there was a police presence yesterday. Yesterday is one day. We have kids that are very fearful," said parent David Ware.

County supervisors got an earful from concerned parents - especially when it comes to threats of violence.

"It used to be something that was outside of schools. Now it's in schools," Ware added.

A disturbing social media post caused parents to leave their students home Monday. Superintendent Dr. George Parker thanked deputies for making their presence known.

"We're continuing to work with our community to ensure that divisive issues do not upset our community," he said.

The Sheriff says his deputies can continue being visible by hiring four additional officers devoted to schools. Right now, he has two.

Tuesday, the county administrator said he's only proposing hiring an additional two officers.

Then there's the issue of school funding in general. The superintendent says many school employees are paid less than similar positions in other districts.

"I'm confident with great teachers by my side, I can go on to do great things. But what if teachers leave because they don't get raises, and another county offers them more? Who will guide us? How will we find our way?" a 7th grader asked the board.

Schools are requesting an additional $1.3 million to offset that, but right now, the county administrator says Caroline can only hand over an additional $350,000.

Some school officials, the sheriff and some county leaders will have a discussion Wednesday as they work to reach common ground.

"Sometimes, you have to look for the hard yes rather than the easy no," Parker said, urging county supervisors to offer more funding.

The board will vote April 10.

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